I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

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I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:18 pm

Hi,

I have a small entertainment setup in my small studio apartment that consists of a loveseat against a wall, a 50" LG Plasma 6 feet in front of the said loveseat, and an HTPC and 360 connected to my TV via HDMI. I use the HTPC as my primary PC, I play a lot of MP3s through my TV speakers. I want better sound primarily for music, with some gaming and movies thrown in. My total budget is $300. I'm thinking of just a receiver + two nice speakers on speaker stands.

Knowledgeable forum members, what do you recommend?

Also, how would I output sound from my PC and 360 to the receiver if my HDMIs are plugged into the TV?
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:28 pm

Honestly, you might be better off with a soundbar: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HTCT100-Soun ... B0015HS1HQ

With that, you run all your inputs into the sub, and then an HDMI from the sub to the TV for the video.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:32 pm

For a home theater setup, the easiest way would be to connect both your XBOX 360 and your HTPC to the receiver using HDMI and then connect the receiver to your TV using HDMI. Most of the cheap AV receivers have 2-in, 1-out HDMI connections. That means you can connect 2 HDMI sources to the receiver and then use the receiver to choose between them. When you tell the receiver which source you want to play, it will send the sound of that source to the speakers and the video of that source to the TV (through the receiver's one HDMI out).
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:05 am

If you want a receiver and speakers and want it to sound pretty good and want to spend no more than 300, you're going to have to buy used. That's a lot to ask if you really want quality stuff. Fortunately Craigslist is FTMFW in that department.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:11 am

I use my Logitech Z-680 Surround system for my setup. I originally got them for my computer, but they do wonderfully for a home theater setup. My only beef with the system is the subwoofer has two setting: Off and booming. Not too bad for movies, but if I play music I switch it to Stereo x2 to balance out the audio.

I've never listened to a soundbar, but have heard good things about them.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:16 am

titan wrote:My only beef with the system is the subwoofer has two setting: Off and booming.

My Z-5500s allow me to choose the subwoofer's power. Don't the Z-680s do the same?
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:15 am

morphine wrote:
titan wrote:My only beef with the system is the subwoofer has two setting: Off and booming.

My Z-5500s allow me to choose the subwoofer's power. Don't the Z-680s do the same?

They ought to, my old X-230s had a power dial on the subwoofer! (And yes, it actually gave me an analog range.)
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:56 am

kvndoom wrote:If you want a receiver and speakers and want it to sound pretty good and want to spend no more than 300, you're going to have to buy used. That's a lot to ask if you really want quality stuff. Fortunately Craigslist is FTMFW in that department.


This.

Find yourself a used stereo receiver for $20 or so. Then spend the balance on a pair of decent floorstander speakers.

Hopefully your TV has audio outputs that can serve out the HDMI audio from your XBOX and PC.

Perhaps a pair of Infinity Primus P252 Loudspeakers?

http://www.soundstageav.com/onhifi/20090801.htm

Here they are for $125 each, before shipping.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... _1_4_.html
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:16 pm

Go with something like this:

$160 with Free shipping

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STR-DH500-5- ... 991&sr=1-3

its got 3 HDMI and 2 Component inputs. I have the 7.1 version of this receiver and its excellent, especially considering the price.

$99 + $18 shipping
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Monito ... 63&sr=1-20

Decent speakers for a very good price. Later on I'd spring for a nice $100ish center channel and use some older bookshelf speakers for rear channels. This will give you a pretty decent 5.0 setup. I've found that in a small apartment, having a sub SEEMS like a good idea... until you either can't hear it, or its annoying the neighbors.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:08 pm

SNM wrote:
morphine wrote:
titan wrote:My only beef with the system is the subwoofer has two setting: Off and booming.

My Z-5500s allow me to choose the subwoofer's power. Don't the Z-680s do the same?

They ought to, my old X-230s had a power dial on the subwoofer! (And yes, it actually gave me an analog range.)

Yes, I can adjust the volume of the subwoofer through the control modules, but like I said it's really only two settings. I can make the subwoofer plenty louder. But the difference between volume 0 and volume 1 is freakin' huge! (And no, not just because 0 is off and 1 is where it starts putting out sound.) Quite literally, the only way to balance the subwoofer with the satellites when listening to music is to put it into Stereo x2 and have the subwoofer at volume 1. The subwoofer level always remains at 1 for anything else.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:02 pm

Check out the Shell Shocker today on New Egg
http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx
Polk Monitor 30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290094
Polk Monitor 40 (MTM's probably best sound for the buck, unless you go bargain hunting on CL)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290010

Parts Express has some HT Speaker Deals
8" Sub
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-692
No Sub
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-680
LCR Speaker Bar A big step up from TV speakers, but you'd want to add a sub down the road.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-684

Dirt Cheap Speaker pair better than computer speakers
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-652
Better pair, probably not 3x better than the Daytons considering the cost.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=303-402
Speaker Kit if you like to tinker and can solder.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-640
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:39 pm

Hey I'd like to thank all of you for your informative posts, you were more helpful than the other forums I go to!

After giving it some thought, I've decided I'll be going with a Sony HT CT100 Soundbar. Not because I don't want a nice receiver + speakers, but I really like the simplicity.

So, I plug my 360 and PC into the soundbar via HDMI.

Will I run one or two HDMI cables from the soundbar to my TV?
When I change my source from PC to 360 on my TV, will the audio source on the soundbar automatically change or do I need to use a second remote to change the audio source? If I need to use two remotes to sync the two up, this may be inconvenient.

Thanks again for your help.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:54 pm

Look here:
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... 1665361523
The very first summary/feature point talks about HDMI; three inputs in and one out.

Welcome to multi-remote home theater. I have four remotes that I use almost daily: TV, Satellite, Speakers and PS3 BluRay Remote. That's the way things have been for a long time. Even using a universal remote required doing several different things to it to make it work. Basically, QQ more about having to use ONLY two remotes. I have to walk to the PS3 to turn it on!

However, Logitech makes some fantastic remotes. One day i hope to own one. (They still don't have support for the PS3, though. When they have support for that I'll get one.) They have one specifically designed for the 360. (Actually, I just checked, and it looks like all of their remotes support the 360.) Furthermore, the HT-CT100 is in the database as well. And unlike the standard universal remotes, it uses macros so you can press a single button and it will switch inputs and turn on/off devices, etc. They've also the capability to learn things quite easily, so if your PC has an IR receiver, you're good to go.

As for the sound bar automatically detecting things, I'm not sure how that works.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:20 pm

titan wrote:Logitech makes some fantastic remotes. One day i hope to own one. (They still don't have support for the PS3, though. When they have support for that I'll get one.)
Yes, they do.
You put the Harmony Adapter where it can pick up the IR signal from your Harmony remote and it relays the BlueTooth signal to the PS3. It works reasonably well with the Harmony 880.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:26 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
titan wrote:Logitech makes some fantastic remotes. One day i hope to own one. (They still don't have support for the PS3, though. When they have support for that I'll get one.)
Yes, they do.
You put the Harmony Adapter where it can pick up the IR signal from your Harmony remote and it relays the BlueTooth signal to the PS3. It works reasonably well with the Harmony 880.

Yup, I just noticed that. To my credit though, I clicked on the PLAYSTATION3 link in the "Narrow This List" window, and it told me there was nothing available. (And now it works. The bastage.) It also claims the ability to turn the PS3 on. True or false?
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:30 pm

titan wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
titan wrote:Logitech makes some fantastic remotes. When they have support for the PS3 I'll get one.
You put the Harmony Adapter where it can pick up the IR signal from your Harmony remote and it relays the BlueTooth signal to the PS3. It works reasonably well with the Harmony 880.
It also claims the ability to turn the PS3 on. True or false?
True.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:29 pm

Dude!

I have to get one. But, maybe later this year. I've only had the PS3 for a few months and I paid a little extra to get a package that included the remote.
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Re: I'd like an audio solution for my studio apt

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:32 pm

One more question!

My LG plasma has optical out. Can't I just run an optical cable from the TV to the soundbar? And by doing this my audio and video will be in sync?
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